Our Monthly Journal

March 2023

We're so excited to share another monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe & her baby Thea from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.

These past couple of days really felt like spring. The sun showed its face in- between the showers, blossom is starting to bloom and I cannot help but feel excited about yet another change of seasons. I hope you too are noticing these gentle signs of spring.

We have prepared a few new spring/Easter activities and crafts for you to try. I hope you find some inspiration here. Should you decide to have a go at any activities, we would really love to see them. Please tag us Please tag us #inspiredbynelliequats

POT-ET-FLEUR
SPRING TABLE CENTREPIECE

Pot-et-Fleur is a combination of potted plants and cut flowers. You can have so much fun creating your own version of this. I have only tried this one, but while making it, I thought of so many other designs I could do.

Start by finding a large bowl or a decorative vase, preferably one that is wider at the top. Choose your blooms - you will need some flowers or bulbs in a pot that will sit at the centre of your arrangement and some cut flowers to go around it. I had some potted Saxifraga flowers that I bought from a garden centre and Lenten Rose stems that I got from a florist. I also collected a few other bits during a woodland walk - some bare branches, some pretty mossy twigs and a couple of tree branches with small green leaves that are just beginning to poke through.

I decorated the top of the pot with a very loose net of bare branches that I bent into a circle, that sits just on top of the pot. Personally, I think it is a great addition to the overall look and it also acts as a support for your loose flowers.

Place your potted flowers in the centre of the large vase, pour the water in and start arranging the loose flowers around the small pot. Once you are happy with how the loose flowers sit, start adding your twigs and branches (if using). I think it brings the whole design to life, makes it wild-like. I also really love different heights of flowers and branches.

I think the beauty of pot-et-fleur is that you can pretty much use any pots and flowers you like, go for a really large design to place in the middle of your table for an impressive centrepiece or create a few small ones to dot around the table or place anywhere in the house.

FLOWER-SHAPED MINI LEMON TARTS

I have had so much fun making these flower-shaped tarts and I hope you will too ifyou decide to give them a go.

Ingredients:

- Ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
- Lemon curd
- Icing sugar

You will also need a flower-shaped cookie cutter (mine is about 9.5cm in diameter).

Method:

Roll your pastry out and cut flowers using your cookie cutter. Place the flowers in a cupcake tin (I used a tin for mini cupcakes, slightly smaller than the standard ones), leaving empty spaces between the pies so the dough isn’t touching. Press them well into the bottom and gently fold the petals out so they look like open flowers. Prick the bottom of the pastry a few times with a fork. Bake the tarts in a preheated oven (at 180C) for about 8-10 minutes or until the pastry turns golden in colour. Let cool and remove from the tin. I did not butter or line the tin and the flowers slipped out nicely, once baked and cooled down. Next, fill the centre of the flowers with lemon curd and sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!

EASTER GIFT WRAP DIY

This is a really fun Easter craft to do with your children. We have made it a fewyears ago, but decided to make it again this year, and added new designs.

You will need:
- inner cardboard part of a toilet roll or a kitchen paper towel
- acrylic paint in colours of your choice
- brushes, pencils or felt-tip pens
- large sheets of paper if you are creating wrapping paper or card if you aremaking greeting cards

Method:
Dip one side of the cardboard roll in acrylic paint and start stamping circles. Wait for the paint to dry completely before continuing with your design. We created bunnies (forward and rear facing), bees, chicks and also Easter eggs.

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